Businessday  Sues National Emergency Management Agency for Non-Compliance with FOI Act

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda September 13, 2019 15:00 Updated
Godwin Chigbu, member of Media Rights Agenda’s (MRA) FOI Legal Response Network

Godwin Chigbu, member of Media Rights Agenda’s (MRA) FOI Legal Response Network

Business Day Media Limited, publishers of Businessday newspapers. has filed a lawsuit against the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) over the agency’s failure to make available to it information  it requested  under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011. Joined as a respondent in the suit is the Director General of NEMA.

In an Originating Summons filed on August 9, 2019 at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court with suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/932/2019, Business Day Media Limited is also seeking a declaration that it is entitled as of right to receive the information it applied for from the Agency, having sent written applications on July 4, 2019 and July 5, 2019.

The suit further seeks for an order for the Agency to make available to Business Day the information it applied for within seven days of the judgment of the Court.

The suit filed by Godwin Chigbu, a member of Media Rights Agenda’s (MRA) FOI Legal Response Network, at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja is asking the Court for the following reliefs:

  1. A declaration that the refusal of the Defendants to furnish the Plaintiff with the information requested through the Plaintiff’s letters dated 4th July, 2019 and 5th July 2019 respectively was wrongful and amounts to a breach of the Plaintiff’s to access information held by a public institution under the FOI Act.
  2. An Order of the Honourable Court directing the Defendants, jointly and severally, to within seven days of the judgment in this suit, furnish the plaintiff with information requested through the Plaintiff’s letter dated 4th July, 2019 and 5th July 2019 respectively.
  3. Cost of prosecuting this action.

The suit is also asking the Court to determine the following questions:

  • Whether NEMA and its Director General as a public institution and a public officer respectively are not subjected to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  • Whether NEMA and its Director General as a public institution and a public officer respectively have the power or right, without any legal justification, to refuse or deny Business Day Media Limited access to information it requested from them through its application for information dated July 4, 2019 in the light of the provisions of Sections 1, 3 (1) and (2), 7 and 20 of the FOI Act.
  • Whether NEMA and its Director General as a public institution and a public officer respectively have the power or right, without any legal justification, to refuse or deny Business Day Media Limited access to the information it requested from them through its application for information dated July 5, 2019 in the light of the provisions of Sections 1, 3 (1) and (2), 7 and 20 of the FOI Act.

The suit is being litigated under a project sponsored by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda September 13, 2019 15:00 Updated
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